We’re going to make a prediction here: This weekend Toy Story 3 (in its second weekend) will out-earn both Grown Ups and Knight & Day combined.
Why? Because word of mouth marketing is more prevalent and important to a movie’s success than ever. Toy Story 3 is riding high after a huge opening weekend and rave reviews. Knight and Day opened today to an embarrassing $3.8 million, and the reviews are terrible. Grown Ups doesn’t look to be faring much better in advance of its Friday opening with an abysmal 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Jonah Hex already learned the hard way about going against Pixar. Hex opened last weekend to a paltry $5.3 million in an effort at counter-programming against Toy Story 3. Audiences overwhelmingly chose the family-friendly Pixar film, and I strongly suspect we’ll see the same again this weekend.
That being said, we expect a larger haul for Knight and Day than Jonah Hex garnered. At least there are a couple of semi-bankable stars with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Sorry Josh Brolin, but no matter how great you were going to be as Hex, the obscure comic-book film didn’t stand a chance.
The box office will really get competitive when Twilight Eclipse is released on the 30th. We expect teenage fans will FLOCK to the theaters for this one, likely taking the top spot in the box office from Pixar.